'Working for the conservation and preservation of Thorpe's woodlands as a haven for wildlife and a green space for the local community'.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Broadland District Council refuses latest planning application

Broadland District Council has published its refusal of the latest planning application to build a housing development over a large area of Thorpe Woods.

The woods are a County Wildlife Site and fall outside of the area identified by the council as being suitable for development.

The full decision can be viewed by using the following link:

https://secure.broadland.gov.uk/MVM.DMS/Planning%20Application/702000/702696/20161896%20Decision.pdf

The property developers Socially Concious Capital have made no comment on the refusal or on whether they plan to appeal against it.




Thursday, 4 May 2017

Creating Public Footpaths in Thorpe Woods – Can you help

The Friends are currently working with Thorpe St Andrew Town Council with the aim of creating a series of new public footpaths through Thorpe Woods.
Initially we need to build up evidence that the routes have been used frequently over a period of time.
We have recently contacted many of our members and provided them with the necessary forms for them to complete and return to us.
The four routes we are hoping to create run between:
•             Woodside Road to Plumstead Road East or Plumstead Road East to Woodside Road
•             South Hill Road to Plumstead Road East or Plumstead Road East to South Hill Road
•             South Hill Road to Pound Lane or Pound Lane to South Hill Road
•             Greenborough Road to Plumstead Road East or Plumstead Road East to Greenborough Road
If you regularly walk in Thorpe Woods and would like to help us to try and create these public footpaths through both Belmore and Racecourse Plantations please contact us at :

lornacbeckett@yahoo.co.uk
Thank you 

Monitoring felling within Belmore and Racecourse

At the start of this the owners of Thorpe Woods carried out felling in both Racecourse and Belmore Plantations.
The Friends support the professional management of the woods and appreciate that part of this involves felling and replanting, however in this case we were concerned to see that following the felling a large number of tree trunks and heavy limbs were left strewn across the woodland floor and paths.
Any felling requires the permission of the Forestry Commission and licences from them, and in the case of Thorpe Woods the licences clearly state that following any felling large trunks and limbs should be removed from the site. 
As a result we decided to contact the Forestry Commission officer for this area and raised our concerns with him, since then we are pleased to see that the owners have arranged for the removal of a lot of this felled timber. 
We will of course continue to monitor any felling that takes place to make sure that it complies with the Forestry Commission requirements

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council oppose latest application

A big thank you do all our members who came out at the last minute to Thorpe St Andrew Town Councils planning meeting last night.

The council unanimously voted to oppose the application and this decision will be passed to Broadland District Council who will consider the application in the new year and decide whether to reject it.

If you haven’t written to Broadland District Council to object to this application there is still time to do so.

If possible please could you include in your objection some or all of the following points:

That Thorpe Woods is the largest area of woodland in Greater Norwich

That it is recognised as an important County Wildlife Site

The application is contrary to national policy (National Planning Policy Framework expects the least environmentally important land should be allocated),

It is also contrary to local policy (The Joint Core Strategy Policy 1 also specifically requires that development should “minimise fragmentation of habitats and seek to conserve existing environmental assets of acknowledged regional or local importance”); and

That it should be considered as a key part of the Green Infrastructure  Strategy for the whole area and should not be looked at in isolation.

That its importance as green infrastructure will only increase as development progresses

That the area of woodland at threat is larger than the majority of CWS’s in Norfolk

That the woods were examined and consulted upon as part of the AAP planning process and that they were identified as being unsuitable for development

You can either write to:

Ben Burgess
Planning Projects Manager
Broadland District Council
Thorpe Lodge
1 Yarmouth Road
Thorpe St Andrew
Norwich, NR7 0DU

Or lodge it on the planning website using the following link:

https://secure.broadland.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/PLComments.aspx?pk=702696


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Planning application lodged to build on Thorpe Woods - Your chance to say NO

The developers Socially Conscious Capital have chosen to ignore the views of local people, conservation bodies and councillors and have lodged a planning application to build 300 houses over 25 acres of Thorpe Woods.


These plans would destroy a large area of this important County Wildlife Site and would severely damage the remaining woodland.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust, who have identified the woods as a County Wildlife Site, have viewed the application and have issued an unequivocal statement opposing them, it states that rather than enhancing the woods the plans would “represent a major development and will have a significant adverse impact on the woodlands”. The area that will be destroyed is as large as Lion Wood and is larger than the majority of County Wildlife Sites in Norfolk.

The application is opposed by our local Councillors Ian Mackie, John Fisher and Nigel Shaw.

You have until the 8th December to make clear that you don't want this destructive development, please act now to save this valuable and much loved English woodland.

How you can say NO

Saying no to this application will only take 5 minutes of your time, simply click on the link below, this will take you to a comments form, fill in your details, state why you are opposed to the application and click the submit button at the bottom of the form.

CLICK HERE TO OBJECT TO THE APPLICATION  You have until the 8th December to make cleat that you are opposed to this unwanted and destructive development.

Alternatively you can write a letter to Broadland District Council stating that you are opposed to planning application 20161896 , please address your letter to:

Ben Burgess
Planning Projects Manager
Broadland District Council
Thorpe Lodge
1 Yarmouth Road
Thorpe St Andrew
Norwich, NR7 0DU

Reasons for opposing the application

Thorpe Woods is the largest area of woodland in Greater Norwich

The woods are recognised as an important County Wildlife Site

Thorpe Woods is not identified as development land in the Area Action Plan which has undergone thorough consultation and comment.

They once formed part of Mousehold Heath

They form a key part of the Green Infrastructure Strategy for the area.

In the 2013 consultation for Broadland District Council development plan over 2400 people objected to any level of development in Thorpe Woods, in fact Thorpe Woods received more objections than any other part of the plan.

Planning application 20161896 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE APPLICATION

Friday, 16 September 2016

New Proposals for Racecourse Plantation – the TRUTH

Over the last week or so you may well have received a glossy pamphlet about Thorpe Woods. The developers Socially Conscious Capital are promoting plans to build 300 houses over 25 acres of the woods, the carrot that they are offering local people to accept these plans is the creation of a so called community woodland. In truth these new proposals are yet another cynical attempt by these developers to try and make a quick buck.

The Friends of Thorpe Woodlands together with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and all of our local councillors (Ian Mackie, John Fisher and Nigel Shaw) oppose these new plans.

The Proposals

In their pamphlet the developers set out 5 main proposals, these are:

      1. No more than 300 homes

The building of housing estate within these woods would not only destroy 25 acres of rare English woodland it would also degrade the surrounding woodland due to light pollution and supporting infrastructure such as roads, drains and paving.

The development area would directly affect rare species such as Great Crested Newts, White Admiral Butterflies and rare bats

      2. 80% smaller than original proposals, but they still destroy 25 acres of woodland

The area of woodland destroyed would still cover a very large area (equal to 20 full size football pitches), its destruction would be the equivalent to felling and building over the entirety of Lion Wood. Norwich and Thorpe St Andrew cannot afford to loss this much irreplaceable habitat.

3.  150 acres of land for local community, but at a price

Socially Conscious Capital claim that the local community will have access to a 150 acres of woodland under their new plan, however the price for this is the destruction of 25 acres of beautiful woodland. The truth is that  we already have access to 200 acres of woodland that are a recognised County Wildlife Site, the loss of 25 acres is simply too high a price to pay both for local people and the wildlife that depends on these woods.

The owner of these woods can manage them as a sustainable commercial woodlands, this approach would allow them to combine making a profit, preserving the woods in their entirety whilst continuing to allow local people access to them.

4. Cycle & pedestrian links

The transport links put forward under the developers proposals would have a negative impact on the ecology of the woods and could damage the wildlife that is dependent upon them.

It should be borne in mind that Broadland District Council’s existing local plan will create many new cycle tracks and pedestrian links without threatening the woods and the wildlife within them.

      5. The new proposal claims to enhance the woods County Wildlife Site status

This statement is simply untrue, The Norfolk Wildlife Trust, who have identified the woods as a County Wildlife Site, have viewed the new proposals and have issued an unequivocal statement opposing them, it states that rather than enhancing the woods the plans would “represent a major development and will have a significant adverse impact on the woodlands”. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust are also keen to point out that the claim that more trees would be retained under these proposals is also misleading as under the felling licences currently in place the owners must replant a tree for each one they fell.

We understand that the developers plan to submit a planning application next month. If and when they do we shall let you know how you can let Broadland District Council’s planning department know that you are opposed to these damaging and unnecessary plans.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Oppose New Development Proposals

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust have joined the Friends in opposing the new proposals to build 300 houses over a large section of Thorpe Woods.

John Hiskett, Senior Conservation Officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust said: "The latest proposals from Socially Conscious Capital, although reduced in scale from previous proposals, still represent a major development and will have a significant adverse impact on the woodlands."

The Trust restated that the woods are designated as a County Wildlife Site - an area of land rich in wildlife. In the past the developer has been keen to downplay the environmental value of certain areas of the woods however the Trust pointed out that the information that they hold on the woods shows clearly their continued value. John Hiskett explained that " information that we hold on this County Wildlife Site (CWS) , including recent survey information, shows clearly that the site continues to meet CWS criteria and is an exceptionally valuable site for wildlife in the local context".

County Wildlife Sites are protected by local planning policies and as a result very few have been subject to loss or damage as a result of development and in Norfolk there have been no losses in the last 20 years on the scale  of that proposed here.

For more information on County Wildlife Sites like Thorpe Woods please see the Norfolk Wildlife Trust website.

Please click here to see John Hiskett of NWT being interviewed on Mustard TV about Thorpe Woods.